by Troy Collins
The cover of Those Moments Before features a poster of Marlene Dietrich advertising Josef von Sternberg's 1931 film Dishonored. While this album--New York-based multi-instrumentalist Edward Ratliff's third as a leader--isn't a soundtrack like the earlier Barcelona in 48 Hours (Strudelmedia, 2004) was, this date unfolds with the same degree of wild eclecticism and globe-trotting impetuousness as a proverbial soundtrack album.
Joined by a stellar cast of Downtown improvisers, Ratliff has an unlimited palette of sound at his disposal. ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Multi-instrumentalist Edward Ratliff brings a wide tapestry of sounds to Those Moments Before. His inspiration comes from Henry Threadgill, a funeral march, the tango, and Hong Kong movies, and he has assembled a stellar cast of musicians to help realize his ambitious canvas. The portrait he presents is a dynamic, moving one.
Ratliff is comfortable in several zones and his music proves the point with instrumental virtuosity that underscores his artistry. One of the more intriguing tracks, Kowloon ...read more
by AAJ Staff
Rhapsodalia and Five Agents are comparable yet unique quintets led by instrumental wizard Edward Ratliff. His work on cornet, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, accordion, celeste, and even Fender Rhodes makes you want to tap your foot, be social, and clank wine glasses (better yet beer pints). Early last month, Five Agents graced Barbès (one of Brooklyn's better informal spaces to hear jazz and improvisation) as part of the weekly Night of the Ravished Limbs series curated by baritone/alto saxophonist Michael Attias ...read more
by AAJ Staff
Barcelona in 48 Hours has been a multimedia celebration of film, dance, photography, and music in its various incarnations over the past couple of years, and one of the pieces of fallout is this soundtrack CD from the short film of the same name. The film, produced and directed by Anja Hitzenberger and Edward Ratliff, consists almost entirely of black-and-white still photographs shot in a two-day span in the Spanish city; it's about improvising dancer David Zambrano. The stage show ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Music written for a film does not always stand up on its own. This is one of the exceptions, an enticing body of work that accompanied the short of the same name; a film about movement that was comprised almost entirely of black and white photographs.
Ratliff composed or co-composed all the tunes. He uses classical music, North African rhythms, what is termed as jungle music" and given credence to on the programmed grooves of Mies," and that ...read more
by Jim Santella
As the soundtrack to a short film of the same name, Barcelona In 48 Hours travels through myriad textures and themes. Like Miles Davis, trumpeter Edward Ratliff brings out different views from beneath the jazz umbrella, from muted cornet in a traditional Spanish sweep to hip-hop rhythms in a contemporary language.
Several arrangements of Barcelona" wander pointedly among tango and flamenco. Folk timbres from violin and accordion bring the tradition alive. Michaël Attias adds baritone saxophone high jinks ...read more
by Dan McClenaghan
Multi-instrumentalist Edward Ratliff's self-professed influences include kung fu movies, 18th century Bohemian wind music, jazz, the Golden Age of Hollywood, tangos, boleros, Vietnamese pop songs and free improvisation--a short list. A litany like that might make you tag him as something of a clever crackpot; but a talented crackpot, if you've encountered his previous disc, Wong-Fei Hong Meets Little Strudel. At least that was my take on him, on that specific outing, after listening to a set that attempted to ...read more